The fifty-eighth West Virginia legislative session came to a close at midnight on March 14, 2015. It had been an action-packed session from the first day. In all, 1607 bills were introduced. Currently, 262 are listed as “completed legislation” on the Legislature’s website.

The new Republican majority went into the session with a long list of legislative goals. Prevailing wage was one of the first issues they took up. CCAWV supported not repealing, but finding a truer way to calculate prevailing wage rates. SB 361 aims to do just that – in conjunction with WVU and Marshall University’s economic research departments, Workforce West Virginia will investigate and determine the prevailing wage for public improvement projects that will cost more than $500,000.

 

Another controversial bill this session was SB 347, the concealed carry permit bill. Ultimately vetoed by Governor Tomblin, the bill sought to remove the need for gun owners to have a concealed carry permit. Proponents cited the second amendment of the US Constitution, while opponents of the bill (including the Sheriff’s Association) questioned the bill’s effect on officer and public safety.

A third bill of notable importance, SB 234, was passed in the final days of the session, and among other things, would give the State’s 9 largest PSDs the ability to propose rates and have them approved by the county commission, rather than going before the Public Service Commission. That bill becomes effective June 12, 2015. We will be sending more details on these bills and others that have county implications, once all are signed into law by the Governor. Watch for your complete summary soon.

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